Toronto is nothing short of a beautiful city. It has been the beloved subject of photographers for years, but the average visitor doesn't need to be toting around a professional camera to enjoy the views in this city. Whether visitors decide to take a time out to rest, people watch or just want to watch the city bustle on; there are hundreds of perfect venues to take some time and enjoy the scenery and the diverse people that call Toronto home.
Located south of Toronto on Lake Ontario, the Toronto Islands are the most natural way to enjoy the city as well as its skyline. Although the angle is quite conventional, it is stunning to be able to find a break in the trees and stare at the city from a direct perspective. This chain of three islands is interconnected by a series of footbridges and accessible by ferry and water taxi.
The main attraction for young families is Centre Island that is home to its own amusement park, while Ward's Island hosts a small residential community and Hanlan Island is most famous for Hanlan's Point Beach. Although this natural park has a fair amount of attractions, it is still an excellent place to get back to nature without wandering too far from the Toronto city limits. On warm summer days, it is the perfect place for people watching or just watching time tick on by for the city that looks so close you could reach out and grab it.
Although its name and history may suggest that the Distillery District is a boozy manufacturing area, the business have all transformed themselves after the distilling business fell through.
The Distillery District is now not only the biggest and best preserved collection of Victorian Industrial architecture, but it is a fantastic pedestrian-only village that is entirely dedicated to the arts, culture and entertainment in Toronto. This beautiful area is home to 15 different art galleries as well as several different theatres, but the boutiques and cafes keep both tourists and locals of Toronto coming here in the thousands every day.
Located right down by the harbour and normally bustling with people, the Distillery District might just be the most beautiful people watching spot in the city. Visitors can settle in at a cafe or on a bench outside, never wanting for people strolling by or a more beautiful area of Toronto to hang out it.
Chester Hill Lookout
Although popular among local couples and the occasional photographer, Chester Hill Lookout is a relatively unknown spot within Toronto. The setting is intimate and out of the way, but provides a sweeping view over Toronto as it is nestled behind Riverdale Park.
The vista is easy to get to as it sits at a dead end of the western terminus of Chester Hill Road, but is out of the way enough to dissuade most visitors. From its paved lookout, visitors will be treated to a unique view of the Toronto skyline as well as the Don Valley Parkway, the Prince Edward Viaduct and the Evergreen Brick Works.
Visitors can watch Toronto tick on by like many other skyline perches in the city, but the different is, there is likely not to be too many other people around to ruin the seclusion. For those that are hoping to get a great picture of the Toronto skyline, it is best to visit this area either at sunrise or sunset. Those times are when the city is in its best light in terms of photography, but it is beautiful any time of day when people aren't visiting specifically for a good picture.
One visit to Toronto's crowded and brightly lit Yonge-Dundas and visitors will feel like they are in the middle of New York City's Times Square. Yonge-Dundas Square is crowded, busy, filled with brightly lit advertisements and it always has something going on.
As one of the busiest pedestrian intersections in the city, it is a great place to watch as life in the city passes by. Visitors will see all kinds of people from probably lost tourists, to business people in a hurry and even a few loving couples out for a day of shopping, this is a place for the dedicated people watcher to sit and watch for hours on end.
During the summer months, the square occasionally features free weekday concerts, evening movie screenings or festivals, so it is best to stick around after the workday lets out and see what is going on.
Although paying a visit to the CN Tower's observation deck is about the most tourist-y thing one can do in Toronto, there is no better view over this urban hub. For those who haven't visited Toronto in awhile, even if it is just a year, each visit to the CN Tower presents a vastly different view of this ever developing city.
Visitors can watch the residents pass around under the tower as if they were ants and spot out some of Toronto's ever-present new construction areas that continue to shape and change the skyline. Whether visitors are touring Toronto's scenic vistas for photography, people watching or just to take in the city as a whole, the CN Tower presents an exciting locale for each.
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